Here at the Denver Ski and Snow Report, a.k.a., the Colorado Ski Resort Examiner, we’re excited to add three ski areas to the daily morning snow report starting tomorrow morning: Beaver Creek, Crested Butte and Steamboat. They’re three of the best in the state in a state where every ski area is world-class fantastic. I can vouch for Beaver Creek and Crested Butte and vouch second-hand for Steamboat.
These opening days will be followed by Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Telluride on Thanksgiving Day and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort on Friday. Here’s the 411, as they say, on tomorrow’s opening day festivities, in alphabetical order so as not to play favorites (sorry, Steamboat)…
Beaver Creek is set to open tomorrow at 9 a.m. with 231 acres of terrain, five lifts and a terrain park. If you go, you’ll be greeted in the morning with hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies, setting the stage for the afternoon’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, which takes place in the village at 2 p.m.
Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy a variety of terrain on the main mountain and in Bachelor Gulch accessed by the following lifts: Centennial Express Lift (#6), Cinch Express Left (#8), Buckaroo Gondola, Bachelor Gulch Express (#16), Strawberry Park Express (#12) for access to Bachelor Gulch only and six surface lifts.
The resort will have 11 trails open including Red Buffalo at the top of the mountain, Latigo, Gold Dust, Fool’s Gold and Haymeadow on the lower mountain, and Sawbuck in Bachelor Gulch. Primrose trail will be open from the top of Strawberry Park Express (#12) to Bachelor Gulch. Intertwine trail will offer skiing back to the main mountain from Bachelor Gulch. A terrain park in the Haymeadow area will provide a jib park consisting of 10 features including rails, boxes, log slides and stall features.
Spruce Saddle Restaurant at the top of Centennial Express Lift will provide a variety of healthy lunch options. The Ski and Snowboard School will be open providing group and private instruction for adults and kids. New this year, Max3 is an adult-only alpine lesson featuring afternoon coaching sessions for a maximum of three intermediate to advanced skiers who want to take their skiing up a notch. The Small World Playschool Nursery also will be open providing daycare for kids from two months to six years.
At 2 p.m. on the dot on opening day, Beaver Creek’s eighth annual Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition gets underway in the village. Skiers and snowboarders will sample five different cookies and vote for the resort’s Official Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for the season. Five finalists will bake and serve 1,000 cookies each for opening day and the winner will be announced later in the afternoon.
Cookie Time is Beaver Creek’s signature guest service program where at 3 p.m. each day Cookie Time Chefs greet skiers and snowboarders at the foot of the slopes with warm chocolate chip cookies. Approximately 400,000 cookies are served each season.
Resort parking is available for free in the Bear and Elk parking lots along Highway 6 in Avon and includes a short shuttle ride to the Village. Beaver Creek Village paid parking will begin on Nov. 23.
An EpicMix Photo booth in the base area near Centennial Express Lift (# 6) will include fun props and photo opportunities to commemorate opening day and guests will be able to share their images through their activated EpicMix accounts.
Vail Resorts’ EpicMix Photo is the next generation of the popular EpicMix ski and snowboard application, which launched last season. This revolutionary new feature will be available on opening day for guests who request to have their photo taken by an EpicMix photographer. Images will be delivered to their EpicMix account by scanning their RF-enabled lift ticket or season pass.
From there, guests can share this low-res image for free on Facebook or Twitter and have the option to purchase a high-res version later on. Visit www.epicmix.com for details. The Epic Pass is available for purchase through Nov. 29 for $669 for adults. For details on all season pass products visitwww.epicpass.com.
For complete details on all of Beaver Creek’s events including the opening day Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition, Holiday Tree Lighting and Gingerbread Competition, World Cup (more on that in an upcoming post) and weekly family programming, visit www.beavercreek.com or call 877-204-7883.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) celebrates opening day and its 50th birthday tomorrow with free skiing for every guest. Opening day also heralds the resort’s annual first chair celebration when local kids line up hours before the resort officially opens to make the very first turns of the season.
This year the resort will have three chairlifts, two Magic Carpets, twelve trails and one jib park for opening day. The birthday fun continues throughout the day with party games, live music, and birthday cake.
CBMR opens for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season at 9 a.m with the Red Lady Express lift, Teocalli lift, Peachtree lift, and the Pine and Aspen Magic Carpets. Crews are preparing 70 acres of terrain, including the following trails: Peanut, Lower Keystone, Bubba’s Skiway, Houston, Warming House Hill, Augusta, High Tide, King’s Knob, Rustler’s Gulch, Ruby Access, Lower Ruby Chief and Upper Conundrum. Skiers and riders also will find terrain park features open in the Lower Keystone Jib Park.
In addition to skiing and riding, guests can enjoy the new Zip Line tour, which debuted in June 2011 and will be open for the entire winter season. The tour includes five zip lines and three suspension bridges and is approximately two hours in length. The Adventure Park, which includes miniature golf, bungee trampoline and the rock climbing wall, also will be open on Wednesday and throughout the weekend.
CBMR Opening Day Schedule
7 a.m.: CBMR staff members walk the lift line with hot drinks, lanyards to first chairs, and lift tickets.
8:30 a.m.: Champagne toast.
8:45 a.m.: Opening day ribbon/banner cutting
8:59 a.m.: First Chair
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: KBUT radio live DJ from the Butte 66 deck
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: The Joy Warrior photo shoot booth on the Butte 66 deck
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Every hour, on the hour, birthday party games on the Butte 66 deck, including ski pole piñata, KBUT musical chairs, etc.
2 p.m.: Local musician Justin Howard performs a unique music looping technique, building up a full sound slowly by adding individual elements.
3:30 p.m.: Local bluegrass legend Drew Emmitt performs at Butte 66. Après continues at the Butte 66 afterwards with on-going drink specials.
With nearly three feet of snow this month, Steamboat opens with three lifts, 25 trails and nearly 250 acres. A specially-priced $25 lift ticket and a $20 lower mountain lift ticket option will be offered on Opening Day, also known as Scholarship Day.
The three lifts include Christie Peak Express, Gondola and Burgess Creek, across approximately 25 trails covering nearly 250 acres for Scholarship Day, includingArc, Big Foot, Boulevard, Flat Out, Park Lane, Right-O-Way, So What, Stampede, Why Not (upper only), Yoo Hoo, Blizzard, Ego, Heavenly Daze, Jess’ Cut Off, Lightning, Rainbow, Rudi’s Run, Sitz, Skyline, Tower, Vogue, Burgess Creek Liftline and White Out. For those looking to get their jib on, several rails and features are expected to be available on Lil’ Rodeo terrain park.
A series of storms have blanketed the mountain with nearly three feet of powder this month, including more than a foot of snow this past weekend at Thunderhead, the resort’s mid-mountain location at 9,080 feet. Steamboat is currently reporting a 21-inch base at mid-mountain. Since Oct. 7, the resort has received 43 inches of snow.
The resort kicks off every season with Scholarship Day, the traditional opening day benefit for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Scholarship Fund. Due to loyal support from skiers and riders, Scholarship Day has raised nearly $675,000 since 1991-1992 season. This fund provides financial support for deserving local children participating in Club programs. This season skiers and riders will enjoy a $25 lift ticket or a $20 lower mountain lift ticket, which provides access on the Christie Peak Express only. Season passes, Pure passes and other passes are not valid on Scholarship Day.
Steamboat will celebrate the start of the 2011/12 season with the Winter White Wednesday Celebration, which includes specials across the resort’s food & beverage, retail and Ski & Snowboard School outlets. In addition, free Steamboat Opening Day t-shirts will be handed out to the first 100 people. On Saturday, Nov. 26, the new Steamboat Stage will host a short champagne toast and dedication at 1:45 p.m., followed by the first free concert of the season featuring Elephant Revival at 2 p.m.
Steamboat is offering a variety of winter vacation packages this season, like Ski Free at Steamboat, which offers free skiing from Opening Day to Dec. 16 when guests book a minimum three nights lodging through Steamboat Central Reservations. Call 800-922-2722 or visit www.steamboat.com for more information, where you can also stay up to date on Steamboat’s snow conditions, view the Mountain Cam, feature photos, videos and register to receive the Straight Talk Mountain Report. Snow conditions will be updated as conditions change and can be accessed by calling 970-879-7300 and at the website.